Lower El Art with Jill

Hello Families of My Wonderful Chestnut, Olive, Walnut and Pine Students!

Week of May 18-May 22: Cubism

Welcome back to our virtual art room! Last week the lesson was about Expressionism. I hope you all had a good time making some art that showed how you were feeling. As we continue on our Art History journey, I realize we only have a few more weeks of school left. It is an unusual time being apart and I look forward to hanging out with you all again! I miss you all! In the meantime, let’s do what we do best….MAKE ART!

This week we are going to be talking about Cubism. Cubism was an art movement that took place in Europe in the early 1900’s. Cubism created a huge shift, change in the idea of what art should do. From the time of the Renaissance, art was meant to imitate nature in a realistic way. Cubist artists broke those rules.

How did Cubists break the rules of art?

  • Multiple perspectives. Instead of showing a landscape, an object, or a person from a single viewpoint, the artists combined several different perspectives so that they could be seen as many of the same. This painting is by George Braque. It is called Violin, but it certainly doesn’t look like a realistic violin! Instead, Braque chose to show the violin from all different angles, perspectives, and put them all together into one representation of a violin.

 

  • Detailed dissection of objects. Objects were studied so much in cubist paintings that sometimes they were broken down into small pieces that were no longer recognizable as the original object. The painting to the left is by Pablo Picasso. It is called Accordionist. Now, if we look at a photograph of an accordionist, we can recognize it is someone who is playing an accordion. However, Picasso’s painting is barely recognizable as anything but a whole bunch of shapes. Background and foreground become one. In the painting, Picasso broke down the image into small shapes, and only on close scrutiny is it possible to locate recognizable features. Can you find the accordionist’s head? The keys of the accordion? The curving arms of the chair he is seated in?
  • Detailed dissection of objects. Objects were studied so much in cubist paintings that sometimes they were broken down into small pieces that were no longer recognizable as the original object. The painting to the left is by Pablo Picasso. It is called Accordionist. Now, if we look at a photograph of an accordionist, we can recognize it is someone who is playing an accordion. However, Picasso’s painting is barely recognizable as anything but a whole bunch of shapes. Background and foreground become one. In the painting, Picasso broke down the image into small shapes, and only on close scrutiny is it possible to locate recognizable features. Can you find the accordionist’s head? The keys of the accordion? The curving arms of the chair he is seated in?

 

Project: Cubist Still Life

  • Collect some items from your house and create an interesting still life. Remember, a still life is just a bunch of objects like fruit, bowls, scissors, etc. that you combine in an interesting way so that you can study them and draw them. Set your still life up in an area that you can create your art.
  • Using a pencil, I want you to draw the still life in front of you, but instead of trying to make them as realistic as possible, pretend you are Picasso or Braque and draw them by breaking them down into shapes. Try to find numerous shapes in each object and put them together. However you make them into shapes is the right way! You are the artist.
  • Once you are happy with your composition, thinking about your entire page and how your still life fills up the page, add some color to your picture. You can use whatever materials you have at your house; crayons, paint, colored pencils, watercolor, or a combination of some.

I hope you enjoy this project! Please send me pictures of what you have created!

-Jill

jthompson@valleymontessorischool.com

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